Fires a sign of things to come this summer
A FIRE burning close to houses on Don Young Dr was the latest in a series that have blighted the region in the past week.
Heavy rains and a dry summer last year have left a legacy of a high fuel load, and the result has seen Gladstone battling a number of fires.
"With the onset of summer we can expect several more fires," Gladstone area commander inspector Wayne Larkin said.
"We are asking people to be vigilant and keep the areas around their homes clear, and to report anything immediately if they see it
"Some of the fires have been hazard mitigation by various departments and industry and others have been fires that have been lit illegally by people who have not gained permits."
There is a possibility some of the fires had been lit by arsonists and from discarded cigarette butts.
"We have investigated several fires and investigations are continuing."
He said if a cause wasn't apparent and an investigation found someone had lit a fire illegally, they could be prosecuted.
"There are severe punishments for people who have been found to be responsible for destroying someone else's property including some very heavy fines," he said.
Inspector Larkin said that residents who saw a fire should report it to 000 immediately.
"Whether you're in rural or urban areas it's the quickest way to get response."
He advised people to be cautious driving through smoke, to slow down and drive to the condition of roads.
"Be aware that fire personnel are on the sides of the road," he said. "Fire conditions can change rapidly."